Success is always temporary. After everything is said and done, you will only be left with the legacy that you have created. Unfortunately, the Khans didn’t realise that throughout their career. The Khan trio- Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan have been ruling Bollywood for decades with their talent, performance, and enormous fan following.
It would not be an exaggeration to state that there does not exist a single Bollywood buff in India, who has once in a while not admired at least one Khan of the Khan trio, if not all. However, their time to shine is gone. The popularity of Khans seems to be fading away in the last few years. The Indian audience, which once created invincible stardom for the Khan trio, is now refusing to watch their films. As a consequence, the empire of Khans is gradually being razed to the dust.
Once upon a time…
There was a time when it took only Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Aamir Khan’s names to attract cinemagoers to theatres. The cinema halls used to be packed with audience and the sound of whistles would overcome the volume of dialogues and songs. On the Forbes 2015 Indian Celebrity 100 list, Shah Rukh and Salman ranked #1 and #2 respectively, while Aamir ranked #5, as the top earners of the prior year.
Simply put, in the past two decades, the three Khans of Bollywood marked a tremendous success rate in almost every film whether the content was good, poor, or worst. The narrative did not make sense and only the ‘Khan’ surname was enough to make any film successful.
No more Khan driven industry
Gone are the days when the names of Shah Rukh, Salman, and Aamir would guarantee a hit. As of today’s scenario, the charm of the Khans of Bollywood might bring the audience to the theatre on an opening day but is not good enough to sustain the hype.
Indian audience is not living in a fool’s paradise anymore. It has become a content driven industry and is not a Khan driven industry anymore. The films like The Kashmir Files and Karthikeya 2 and Rocketry are proof that content is king. The Khans have been replaced by actors like Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana and Sidharth Malhotra. Be it the Uri, Sardar Uddham Singh and Vicky Kaushal has emerged as the actor who is willing to break all the stereotypes.
Ayushmann Khurrana, meanwhile, has become a role-model for the newbies coming in the industry. His Badhaai Do was a massive hit and proved that the “audience wants more.” Siddharth Malhotra’s ‘Shershah’ is one of its kind and the film garnered a lot of love from the cinemagoers.
Box-office worth decreasing drastically
Let’s do some Maths. Earlier, the box-office collection was used to decide whether the film is a hit or a flop. Thus, we’ll go by the box-office trend only.
Let’s talk about Shah Rukh Khan and his box-office worth. Positive things first. Before moving on to the collection of his last film, it is necessary to mention his last hit film. Shah Rukh Khan’s last hit was ‘Happy New Year’, which by the way had nothing to be happy about. Even actor like Boman Irani failed to impress the audience with his acting in the movie. It was a horrible movie, to be honest.
But Shah Rukh’s charisma attracted the audience and the film managed to earn huge profits. The film’s budget was around Rs 100 crores and its worldwide collection stood at Rs 377.21 crores. With a profit of Rs 277.21 crores and a return on investment of 73.49%, the film was declared a super hit.
Now, it is time to discuss the collection of his last film which is ‘Zero’. The movie justified its name, I must say. While the budget of the film was Rs 200 crore rupees and the prospective collection was believed to be Rs 346.98 crores, the film hardly collected Rs 186 crore rupees. The net loss of Rs 160.98 crore rupees for an actor who has once been part of Forbes magazine, it is a loss and a shameful loss.
Now, we are going to discuss ‘perfect’ rates at which Mr perfectionist’s movies touched the lows. His last hit was ‘Dangal’. The film’s budget was Rs 70 crore and its gross collection was Rs 538.03 crore, which mean a profit of a total of Rs 468.03 crore. The whopping return on investment stood at 86.99 per cent. Undoubtedly, the film had a touching story which forced the masses to empty their pockets for the movie. It was entertainment as well as authentic content to watch on the big screens.
Aamir’s recently released ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ was his last flop. The budget of the film ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ reportedly is Rs 180 crore, which, of course, is a huge amount to spend. Its worldwide gross now stands at Rs 130 crores. Since the prospective collection was said to be Rs 336.582 crore, the film had to face a loss of Rs 206.582 crore. A huge loss to bear, right?
How can we ‘dare’ to not mention ‘SabkiJaan, Bhaijaan’? His popularity and craze among the masses have only been rising in the last few years. The cinemagoers used to go batshit crazy before the release of his every film. However, the tables have turned. Everything has changed. As far as his Bollywood career is concerned, his last few films are falling flat at the box office.
While in the last few years, he has given multiple blockbusters, it was ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ that gained not only love but crores of rupees from the audience. Made on a budget of only Rs 75 crore, the film’s worldwide collection was Rs 565.1 crore leading it to earn a profit of total of 490.1 crore rupees.
But it was a few years back. Now, the films like Radhe and Tubelight define the career graph of Salman Khan. The budget of the film ‘Radhe’ was Rs 110 crore. It could only collect Rs 18.33 crore worldwide despite the fact that its prospective collection was Rs 205.403 crore. The net loss of Rs 187.073 crores proved that Salman Khan’s stardom will not work if he continues to play man-child in his movies.
Hindus’ contribution in the demolition of Khan’s stardom
Now, the question arises that what led to the demolition of Khan’s stardom which was believed to be invincible? You see, the majority of the population in India is Hindu. Living in a country where majority is Hindu, one cannot afford to get involved in anti-Hindu propaganda and expect the audience to fall for his or her traps, especially when the audience is more evolved than ever.
This is exactly the case. In 2015, Aamir Khan called the country intolerant as he became a part of the Award wapsi gang. While speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Awards function, Khan said that he was “alarmed” at the state of affairs as far as tolerance is concerned.
While Aamir was busy carving out his place in the award wapsi gang, his wife Kiran Rao too toed the same line. After earning name, fame and money in India, Kiran Rao was suddenly too scared to open newspapers in the morning; she started fearing for her children.
Just when we thought that Aamir will not commit any more mistakes, he played a protagonist in a film that was nothing but propaganda against Hindu religion, its beliefs, values, and gods. The film mocked Hindu gods and left no stone unturned to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.
Salman Khan, meanwhile, has a well-oiled and cash-pumped PR machinery to back him, and help him cover-up for a lot of disasters and infamous incidents in his career. Such has been the effective strategy of his PR machinery that Indians had not realised even now that the man has allegedly a rather extravagant record in terms of breaking the law.
However, Sushant Singh Rajput’s death irked Indian audiences like never before. They were in no mood to tolerate Salman Khan’s PR shenanigans at a time when the nation was unitedly demanding justice for the late actor. It was the beginning of an end to Salman Khan’s hegemony on social media and box-office as well.
Shahrukh Khan, I believe, would have barely felt any difference in his stardom despite the controversies that he has been ridden with. His movies just like other Khans’ movies have been a victim of not ‘Bhakts’ but of not-so-great cinema.
Then came the fateful day of 2nd November 2015, the day of his 50th birthday, when he said the most heartbreaking statement – “There is extreme intolerance in India.” Moreover, the films like Raees which were laden with propaganda added salt to the fire. It was the end of the roads for Shah Rukh Khan as the Indians, majority of which is Hindu, was not ready to tolerate such statements for their nation.
The Khans have fallen into pits of their own making. It is the curtain down on the era of Khans. The kingdom of the Khans appears to be facing an unprecedented threat. In short, it’s over for Khans.
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